BY PAUL NEWALL
The other week I warned of the dangers of vaccine passports. I thought at the time that it’d be a few months before their introduction but lo and behold a revamped version of the NHS track and trace app includes this enhancement below. So, it transpires that my concerns were somewhat understated.
Basically, as it is plain to see, your whole life can now be spliced onto your smartphone even including “alleged criminal behaviour”. Not only is this a gross breach of an individual’s right to privacy but it’s also a boon for criminals. It’s not hard to imagine a tech savvy criminal producing a scanning device to read and steal your personal information while your phone sits in your pocket.
From a purely human rights point of view, having to carry evidence of your personal lifestyle and social circumstances is a huge overreach of what the state needs to know about you in daily life and points to some of the abuses that I outlined in my previous piece.
In many ways Covid is an authoritarian’s dream opportunity. If the police have access to all the data which they have already as part of the self-isolation system – your biometric information, location and past criminal behaviour – this could put an innocent individual in the frame for a crime committed in their vicinity by someone else who has conveniently left their phone at home.
The state has exceeded the power of the politicians we elect to control it and I’m not entirely sure that this in anyone’s best interests, not even the politicians’. Yes, we should believe in democratic accountability, though often it runs too slowly. The state is still investigating (wrongly in my opinion) the actions of the British forces in Northern Ireland back in the 70’s. How long will it take for excesses facilitated by this simple app to come to light and be granted justice?
In other news I note that the Welsh government have announced a pilot scheme for Universal Basic Income (UBI) – a Labour government buying into a Marxist redistribution idea. Hopefully, the trial will fail but I suspect it has a great deal of support, especially from elements of our civil service. If you link the NHS app, the existing Gateway and the UBI, they could in theory be used as a pincer movement by the state to seize total power over ordinary people.
Just a year ago, people who spoke about digital ID, UBI and a cashless digital economic system were disregarded as conspiracy theorists who needed to put another layer of tinfoil into their baseball cap. Now it seems they had the gift of foresight.
This isn’t a move to bring order to society, it’s a move to restrain and control every aspect of the actions of ordinary people. If there’s anyone that has the ear of an MP, then they need to shout out the warnings before any harm is done. If this system becomes fully operational, don’t think for one minute it won’t be used and abused at some point by the pernicious characters who no doubt exist in our state.
Paul Newall is a child of the 1960’s from a traditional Labour-supporting household. Paul dabbled with Trotskyism in the 1980’s but then “grew up and thanks to having responsibilities I slowly migrated across the political spectrum until instead of hating Maggie Thatcher I admired her for beating my side in the miners’ strike”.